Two days before her twelfth birthday, Naomi surreptitiously followed her father into the woods behind their house, thinking that maybe he was checking on a bike she was hoping he’d bought her. Instead she learned her father had a much bigger, more horrific secret. She discovered her father had an old root cellar in the forest where he raped, tortured, then murdered young women. When Naomi climbed down into that cellar she found a college coed and other evidence. Naomi helped her escape. They both limped for miles through the woods, into town and to the sheriff.
Naomi’s father was arrested, put on trial and sent to prison. For Naomi, her mother and younger brother, it was the beginning of a nightmare. Thanks to all the media coverage, Naomi’s family became well known and they were stigmatized by the father’s crimes. Finally Naomi’s uncle moved them to New York City to live with him. He helped them change their last name, get the kids back in school and on with their lives.
Naomi never let anyone outside of her family get close. She fell in love with photography and worked hard enough to earn a good living with it. In her mid-twenties Naomi began traveling around the US photographing as she went. This she did for years until she happened upon a beautiful small town along the Pacific coast in Washington state. An old empty house on a bluff seemed to call to her. Naomi bought it with the idea of fixing it up for possible resale.
Gradually, Naomi made friends, including Xander, a man who could become more than a friend. But, just as she was settling in the body of a young woman was dumped on the beach near Naomi’s house. When she discovers the young woman, she sees the similarities in the way the young woman was killed and the methods used by her father. Immediately, Naomi was afraid on multiple levels. Young women in this new community she was learning to love were at risk, including herself. The whole community might find out who she really was and the nightmare might start all over again. Should she abandon her house and new friends hit the road? Is her father still in prison? What should she do?
I, of course, loved this story. It was a 14 hour audio book and I could not stop listening to it—all in one day. I was torn between not wanting it to end and wanting to get to the end so I could find out what happened. Overall it was a perfect summer read. I really felt for the young Naomi and understood the older Naomi too. I got completely caught up in the remodel of Naomi’s house and loved reading about the various pieces of furniture she was going to have refinished. I even loved the stray dog she took in but couldn’t name. Of course it goes without saying that I loved Xander and Naomi’s younger brother.
I strongly recommend The Obsession to all lovers of romantic suspense and especially to my youngest daughter, Cerrin, a fellow Nora Roberts fan. Read this one Cerrin.
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